Linkedin Endorsements, Skills and Expertise. Quit the whining and leverage the network

Linkedin endorsements, skills and expertise

I have had a lot of inquires about Linkedin lately, especially as it relates to the Linkedin endorsements, skills and expertise. There is such a buzz around endorsements and not the one I think Linkedin had intended.

So what is the fuss?

It seems that I cannot go to a social media chat or meeting without someone slamming the Linkedin endorsement feature followed by a diatribe of its value and worth. So much negative debate for a form of recognition.

Please stop the whining. Leverage the value instead. How?

Take advantage of the higher visibility it affords and use it to increase your networking. Yes, that’s right, networking. Try these 3 easy steps/ tips to increase your networking ability:

1. Prepare a comprehensive list of your skills

The first tip is to complete a comprehensive skill-set. You can list up to 50. Take total advantage of this. List all the skills you want to showcase and market. This should be consistent with your  personal branding effort. I still see a lot of incomplete profiles. Linkedin has made it easy for you by adding this skills and expertise feature. Use it! It is an opportunity to increase the visibility of what you “bring to the table”. It also adds to the “Linkedin search juice”. I would also advise that the body of your profile also includes your skills listed, highlighting any accomplishments as a result of those skills. This gives weight to any endorsements you have received and hence increasing its value  and credibility.

Now there may be occasions where you might receive an endorsement that is not on your list. Do not accept it automatically. Think about it. Is this a strength? Is this the skill you really want to make visible?  This brings me to the next tip.

2. Manage your Linkedin endorsements, skills and expertise  portfolio

As mentioned in tip 1, you do not have to accept all your endorsements.  You can remove any endorsements that you believe is not a real strength. Just go into the edit function and remove it. So if you are one of the Linkedin members that believe this feature to be of little value, remove them. I would advise  not to do that. My advice is to manage them. Make sure that this is indeed the portfolio you want to showcase. Don’t forget to thank those that took the time to endorse you.

3. Search and Check Common skill-sets. Leverage to start the conversation.

Are you interested in a specific company? Or specific person?  Using the Linkedin search feature, search for that company [or person] and then checkout who works there. Click on the profile of the individual you would like to learn more about. Scan the sidebar of their profile, Linkedin highlights what you have in common with that individual [as shown below]. Armed with this information, this is a great way to start a conversation with that individual.  It is an ice-breaker. Or, you may want to share how you may complement that person or their company thereby inviting further conversation. Now that is why I call this tool the hidden gem! It can indeed help your networking ability. So much better than hitting on a person saying ” I want a job and can you get me one”.

 

Linkedin endorsements, skills and expertise

Found on the Linkedin sidebar. Hover over number to reveal common skill-sets

 

In closing, I know that there has been a lot of debate on whether the number of endorsements mean anything. Like any other indicator, it needs other indicators to validate its value. My advice remains consistent and has held true for a number of years now. Influenceand skill indicators should be used as a guide and not as an absolute. Do your homework by using a number of data points to help you make an informed decision or conclusion.  As I mentioned in tip 1, bring your endorsements alive by adding your accomplishments as a result of your skills and expertise. There is not one social media silver bullet that can be held up as “the be all, and end all” of an individual’s worth. You still have to do your homework. Those that get burnt, are those that took the lazy route and did not bother to evaluate a person holistically.

Now it is your turn.  What do you think?

 

 

Thank you for indulging in my scripts!

Photo credit: TheSearare on Flickr

6 Responses to “Linkedin Endorsements, Skills and Expertise. Quit the whining and leverage the network”

  1. Shirley,
    THANKS for the article on LINKEDIN ENDORSEMENTS. When endorsements first began pouring in, I suspected that it was some sort of scam. It has been a challenge to manage endorsements, in part, because I didn’t know what to think. It’s particularly challenging when someone connects with you and a bunch of possible endorsements pop up for that person, when all you may know about them is their name. Your article certainly helps, and at least now I can approach endorsements with the faith that they have purpose and can be managed.

  2. I would have loved to have more endorsements on my Linkedin but it seems I never use it. That might be why! I love Linkedin thought its great for a business setup and connect with key players. – Scott Craighead
    Scott Craighead recently posted..Our New Video Game Characters Are Actors?My Profile

  3. LinkedIn’s Positioning Weakness: The Visual Hammer:

    Can you imagine the influence skill vision and endorsements might have on careers and income, if LinkedIn entertained a crowd pleasing visual approach?

    When you think of Facebook “likes,” you picture the inviting thumbs up.

    The first most effective way into the mind of Linkedin users then, is not with words at all, it’s with an endorsement icon that has strong emotional appeal.

    Many Linkedin members are saying the emotional impact of a likeable endorsement image, would also power up a more popular perception for their skills and expertise.

    Even in most conversations, the magic of rapport and likeability is the first critical step to bridge trust and credibility. The subject matter of a conversation or consumer relationship then, is only a secondary element.

    Many people say appealing visuals help to establish emotional rapport. Associated messages get read more, shared more, and have more staying power. Engaging visuals help consumers connect with a brand in the marketplace.

    “Customers don’t buy products, they buy certainty. They buy trust and likeability, they buy perceptions and reputation.” ~ Brian Tracy

    “Listen up. You get only one shot to make a good first impression, and what you say first colors everything that follows. It doesn’t only color it, but depending on how you frame the context, the initial impression you make will either cast a shadow over your purpose or provide a foundation under it.” ~ Dr. Frank I. Luntz

    P.S. Although it’s acceptable that LinkedIn engineers are taking longer than expected to fine tune the data set, if the brand perception stays visually weak, endorsing it’s value will vanish.

    Open Endorsers are Open Networkers, only they have more skills.

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  1. Linkedin Endorsements, Skills and Expertise. Quit the whining and leverage the network | Social Media Pearls | -- Joan Stewart 's Blog -- Finding Leads 4 U - February 24, 2013

    [...] See on socialmediapearls.com [...]

  2. March 2013 Management Journey Carnival - March 18, 2013

    [...] Shirley Williams of Social Media Pearls moves the discussion beyond complaining in her article, Linkedin Endorsements, Skills and Expertise. Quit the Whining and Leverage the Network. — Social [...]

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